- Abe reads his first law-book. -- the fight between John Johnston and William Grigsby. -- recollections of Elizabeth Crawford. -- marriage of Sarah Lincoln and Aaron Grigsby. -- the wedding song. -- the “Chronicles of Reuben.” -- more poetry. -- Abe attends court at Booneville. -- the accident at Gordon's mill. -- borrowing law-books of Judge Pitcher. -- compositions on Temperance and Government. -- the journey with Allen Gentry to New Orleans. -- return to Indiana. -- Customs and superstition of the pioneers. -- reappearance of the “milk sick.” -- removal to Illinois. -- Abe and his pet dog.
The first law book Lincoln ever read was “The statutes of Indiana.” He obtained the volume from his friend David Turnham, who testifies that he fairly devoured the book in his eager efforts to abstract the store of knowledge that lay between the lids. No doubt, as Turnham insists, the study of the statutes at this early day led Abe to think of the law as his calling in maturer years. At any rate he now began to evince no little zeal in the matter of public speaking — in compliance with the old notion, no doubt, that a lawyer can never succeed unless he has the elements of the orator or advocate in his construction — and even when at work in the field he could not resist the temptation to mount the nearest stump and practise on his fellow laborers. The latter would flock around him, and active operations would cease whenever he began. A cluster of tall and stately trees often made him a most dignified and appreciative audience during the delivery of these maiden forensic efforts. He was old enough to attend musters, log-rollings, and horse-races, and was rapidly becoming a favored as well as favorite character. “The first time I ever remember of seeing Abe Lincoln,” is the testimony of one